Rob and Carolyn Farago, a father and daughter from West End, became political campaigners this week and joined over two hundred other passionate community campaigners from across Australia at Parliament House in Canberra to advocate for the rights of the global poor.
The group of concerned citizens were in Canberra from 10-13 October for the Voices for Justice lobbying event coordinated by the Micah Australia global poverty campaign. They met with approximately 100 Members and Senators to discuss ways Australia can adequately respond to the needs of its global neighbours and play its part in breaking down the barriers which trap people in poverty.
“Many people aren’t aware that significant progress has been made in the past 20 years towards tackling global poverty,” said Rob
“Child mortality has been more than halved worldwide in the last 25 years and we now celebrate the survival of millions more children beyond their fifth birthdays. Maternal mortality rates have also declined by 45% globally since 1990, with more women than ever before receiving care from a skilled birth attendant,” Carolyn said.
“Yet, in a world where 6 million children still die each year from preventable or treatable causes, around 800 women each day still die in pregnancy and child-birth and more than 2 billion people still live on less than $2 a day, we can and should do more.”
“I went to Canberra because I am one of many concerned citizens who want Australia to be known as a generous and compassionate country which is committed to doing its fair share towards ensuring justice for the world’s poorest people.”
Less than one month prior to the Voices for Justice event, Australia joined the international community in unanimously adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to fight poverty, address inequality and build a more secure, prosperous and sustainable world.
Yet the Government’s recent cuts to Australia’s aid budget have reduced aid spend to 22 cents in every $100 of national income – the lowest level since records began – pushing Australia into the bottom half of aid giving nations.
Rob and Carolyn, along with a few others from Brisbane, had a private meeting with Local Member for Griffith, Terri Butler, in Canberra to discuss ways Australia will support the new global goals by restoring Australia’s aid program and increasing emission reduction targets to tackle climate change.
“It was a privilege to represent the electorate of Griffith and speak out for poorest and vulnerable in our world whose voices are normally not heard,” said Rob.
Voices for Justice brings together students and retirees, professionals and families, aid workers and church leaders from all states of Australia. It is coordinated by Micah Australia – a movement of Christians, churches and organisations raising a powerful voice for justice and a world free from poverty. See www.micahaustralia.org